Z. Ben-Barak, "Meribaal and the System of Land Grants in Ancient Israel", Biblica 62 (1981), 73-91. - The author examines the story of Meribaal (2 Sam. 9; 16:1-4; 19:17-18, 25-31) as the major piece of evidence that the system of royal land grants, which was widespread in the ancient Near East, was also practiced in Israel (cf. 1 Sam 8:14; 22:7). He traces the development of this process through a number of stages. The title to the paternal estate was transferred to the king as crown lands in the absence of an heir. The king was able to dispose of these as lands of grant in return for service to the crown. One of the important sources of land grant was the transformation to crown land of paternal estates which had been confiscated by the king on the grounds of treason. (K.W.W.)

Z. Ben-Barak, "The Meribaal Story and Land-Grants in Ancient Israel", BM 25 (1980), 42-62 (Heb.). - Hebrew version of Biblica article, above.

J. Blumberg, "Arabic Legal Terms in Jewish Property Law" (Heb.), Shenaton Hamishpat Ha'ivri 14-15 (1988-89), 61-87. - This article fills a gap in the comparative study of Judaism and Islam - which is generally confined to the areas of philosophy and history - by attempting a systematic study of Arabic legal terms in Jewish legal literature. The present study focuses on Maimonides' Arabic works, i.e. Commentary to the Mishnah, Sefer Hamitsvot, Responsa and the Guide for the Perplexed and those of his predecessors including R. Saadya Gaon, R. Samuel b. Hofni, R. Isaac Alfasi and R. Joseph ibn Megas. The terms analysed are milk (ownership), kabd (taking possession), ghash (usurpation), sarika (theft), darak (responsibility for defects in ownership), shufa (pre-emption) and rahn (pledge). Each term is analysed in its Islamic and Jewish legal contexts, and the issue of the influence of the former system upon the latter is discussed. The author is, in fact, unable to point to any clear examples of such an influence. He does, however, succeed in demonstrating that the Arabic terms are used by Jewish jurists in accordance with their meanings in more than one school of Islamic jurisprudence. It is also argued that there were specific traditions amongst the Jewish authorities discussed in the article with regard to the meaning and usage of these terms. (D.B.S.)

A. Cohen, "Shemitah", BM 24 (1979), 45-49, 120 (Heb.) - The sabbatical year of the land, it is here argued, was not observed in First Temple times due to the economic unfeasibility of neglecting vineyards for even one year. Only in the Second Temple period, when a large gentile population could supply agricultural products to the Jewish populace, and only in such northern areas as were no longer based on grape production, could the law be observed as prescribed. (B.J.S.)

Eryl W. Davies, Prophecy and Ethics, Isaiah and the Ethical Traditions of Israel, Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981, ISBN 0 905774 26 4, Pp. 184, Price: £8.95 (subscribers: £6.50) (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series, 16). - In this study of Isaiah's ethics, extracted from a doctoral dissertation, the author relates the prophet's work to earlier Israelite traditions on covenant and law, and pays particular attention to two passages, Is. 5:8-10 and 1:21-6, which concern abuses of the land-holding system, and of the administration of justice. The law in itself was incapable of preventing all such abuses; the prophet's concern for the maintenance of justice "in the gate" is related to that concerning land-holding, since the right to speak in the legal assembly was contingent upon the possession of property. (B.S.J.)

J.A. Dearman, Property Rights in the Eighth-Century Prophets, Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, l981, Pp. 301; see KS 58/1 no. 100.

Y. Grossman, Sefer She'elot uteshuvot mashkenot yisra'el, al hilkhot batim meshutafim venizke shekeynim, Jerusalem: Z. Grossman, l984, Pp. xiii, 159; see KS 59/2-3 no. 2821.

E. Lipinski, "Sale, Transfer, and Delivery in Ancient Semitic Terminology", in Gesellschaft und Kultur im alten Vorderasien, ed. H. Klengel (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1982), 173-185 (Schriften zur Geschichte und Kultur des Alten Orients, 15). - The author considers the semantic developments of the root MKR in Hebrew Ugaritic and Babylonian sources, and discerns a gradual shift in the direction of transfer of property, as opposed to mere transfer of possession. But the ancient semitic legal systems did not conceptualise the distinction between possession and ownership, as did the Romans; payment of the price and delivery of the goods were normally concurrent. (B.S.J.)

H. Mller, "Lsungsvorschlag für eine Crux interpretum (Lev. 25 33)", ZAW 90 (1978), 411-12. - Re Va'asher yigal in Lev. 25:33, Mller argues (1) that the verb g'l here also means "to redeem" and not "to acquire", (2) the introduction of a "not" is to be rejected, and (3) the asher relates not to the following yig'al but to the preceding ge'ulat olam tihyeh laleviyyim.` (J.D.)

J. Neusner, "Scriptural, Essenic, and Mishnaic Approaches to Civil Government: Some Comparative Remarks", HTR 73 (1980), 419-434. - Comparison of Neziqin with comparable collections of law in the Bible and at Qumran highlights the peculiar concerns of the Mishnaic editors. B.K., B.M., Makk., Shebu., Hor. are essentially extensions of Scripture restating biblical facts. Sanh. and A.Zar. tend to develop new topics that could not be predicted on the basis of the Pentateuch. And B.B., dealing with property law, and Ab. are completely independent of Scripture. The Damascus Rule portrays a tightly-organised hierarchical community, whereas the Mishnah envisages a society governed by a consensus of the sages. It wishes to create a stable ongoing society on earth: it is not concerned with heroic efforts to bring in a new age. Heaven is created on earth when man obeys heaven's laws. This preoccupation with the present and property suggests that the framers of the Mishnah were property-owning householders. (G.J.W.)

Shmuel Shilo, "Split Ownership Rights in Property according to Jewish Law", Diné Israel 12 (1985), 173-193.

U. Shtruzman, "The Significance of the Market Overt Enactment in Jewish Law" (Heb.), Diné Israel 9 (1978-1980), 7-50. - Under the provisions of Israeli law, the buyer of stolen goods, or a pawnbroker who receives a stolen object, will retain their respective rights in the stolen property, provided that they dealt in good faith, and various conditions specified in the relevant laws were fulfilled. In Jewish law, however, the buyer of stolen goods is under a religious obligation to restore them to the original owner, and the sole effect of the market overt enactment is to ensure that where the buyer acted in good faith, he is not required to endure any financial loss in order to restore the stolen goods. He may, therefore, demand compensation from the owner for any losses incurred in restoring his property to him. The writer believes that, this fundamental difference between Jewish and Israeli law notwithstanding, a fusion of the principles of both systems would provide a law which would be both efficient and just. In another article, "The Market Overt Enactment" (Heb.), Hapraklit 34 (1982), 353-374, the same author deals with different aspects of this topic in Jewish law, and compares it with Israeli law. (J.S.K.)

A. Sivan, "The Negotiations over the Cave of Machpelah", Sivan, 207-217 (Heb.). - This study is a Hebrew synopsis of recent articles by Melamed, Lehmann, Tucker, Westbrook, Speiser and Evans on Abraham's purchase of the Machpelah Cave. The various attempts by these scholars to elaborate on the ancient Near Eastern legal traditions underlying the narrative are presented and clarified. (B.S.J.)

R. Westbrook, "The Price Factor in the Redemption of Land", Revue Internationale des Droits de l'AntiquitÈ 32 (l985), 97-127.



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